Kettering names new president

Mar 21, 2005

Dr. Stanley R. Liberty of Bradley University joins Kettering as its sixth president July 1.

Dr. Stanley R. Liberty has been named the new president of Kettering University. He will become the university's sixth president when he succeeds Dr. James E.A. John on July 1.

"Dr. Liberty's broad range of successful leadership experience in academia, business, and government provides Kettering University a terrific base from which to take the school forward," said Jane Warner, Chairperson of Kettering's Board of Trustees. "This solid experience combined with his innovative thinking and passion for greatness will assure Kettering's continued success as an outstanding University."

Dr. Liberty joins Kettering from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., where he has been provost and vice president for academic affairs since January of 1998. Before joining Bradley he served as dean of engineering for 13 years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and as that university's interim vice chancellor for academic affairs. He was the Nebraska representative on the Science and Technology Council of the States, a working group of the National Governor's Association, and he advised Governor's Orr and Nelson on science and technology matters.

He also served as department chair of electrical engineering at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virg., and as a faculty member at Texas Tech University, where he was founding director of Texas Tech's center for energy research, an associate dean of graduate studies, and a member of the Texas Energy Advisory Council. Prior to his academic career he was employed as a design engineer by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. Dr. Liberty's research has been supported by grants from several federal agencies including NSF, NASA and the Office of Naval Research.

In 1976 he was named the Outstanding Young Electrical Engineering Professor in the United States by Eta Kappa Nu (the C. Holmes MacDonald Award), and he is a 2005 recipient of the University of Notre Dame's College of Engineering Honor Award for "significant contributions to the advancement of engineering, or meritorious achievements in engineering."

"It is an honor to be selected as Kettering's sixth president and I look forward to the leadership challenges and opportunities this position offers with great enthusiasm," Dr. Liberty said. "I also look forward to facilitating the development of strong collaborative partnerships between Kettering and both private and public sector entities in Flint and the surrounding region."

Dr. Liberty was born and raised in Gray, Maine and graduated from Cheverus High School in Portland. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

In addition to his role as Provost at Bradley University, he is principal investigator on a recent grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, establishing an Illinois Technology Enterprise Center in Peoria. He also is the principal investigator on a grant from the NSF Partnerships for Innovation program supporting activities of Peoria NEXT, a local economic development initiative. Dr. Liberty chairs the Research, Education and Innovation Team of Peoria NEXT and is a manager of the Tri-County Venture Capital Fund I, LLC. He is also a director of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and chairs the chamber's transportation committee.

Dr. Liberty is an accomplished musician, having first performed professionally at the age of 13. He has been very active as a coach and leader in youth sports organizations in four states. He is an avid golfer and fisherman, and plays handball and racquetball.

His wife Angie, also a native of Maine, is director of the Center for Executive and Professional Development in Bradley's Foster College of Business Administration. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Dr. John, Kettering's president since 1991, announced a year ago his plan to retire in June 2005. During his tenure, the campus has seen dramatic changes including expanded and modernized physical facilities, significant improvements in the University's financial situation, strengthened school leadership, key initiatives to attract and retain a talented and diverse student body, and expanded partnerships with corporate and educational partners in the United States and abroad. Click on this link to learn more about Dr. John's accomplishments.

Five distinguished academic leaders have served Kettering/GMI as president. They are: Albert J. Sobey, 1919-1950; Guy R. Cowing, 1950-1960; Harold P. "Dusty" Rodes, 1960-1976, who also came to Kettering from Bradley University; William B. Cottingham, 1976-1991; and James E.A. John, 1991-2005.

To learn more about Kettering University's 85-year history and the man who inspired its name.

Bradley University is an independent, privately endowed, coeducational institution in Peoria, Ill. It was founded in 1897 as Bradley Polytechnic Institute by Lydia Moss Bradley as a memorial to her children and husband, Tobias. It is fully accredited. Bradley offers its 5,000 undergraduate students more than 100 programs among five colleges: Foster College of Business Administration; Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts; Education and Health Sciences; Engineering and Technology; and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Almost 1,000 graduate students participate in 14 graduate degrees in 31 academic areas including an AACSB-accredited MBA program, an Executive MBA, and doctorate in physical therapy. For more on Bradley University.

Compiled by Patricia Mroczek